Welcome to the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust's
Stammering Therapy webpage. This section contains information
specifically for GPs as you are the main referrers to our service
for adults who stammer.
Assessment and therapy for stammering is provided from age 16+.
It is available at all 5 hospital sites and delivered by SLTs who
specialise in Stammering Therapy.
How to refer a patient
You can refer by writing to the Adult SALT Team at the following
Central Appointments Bureau
Speech & Language Therapy
Bishop Auckland General Hospital
Cockton Hill Road
Telephone: 01388 455200
You can also inform your patients that they can self-refer,
either by telephone on the above number or by emailing: email@example.com.
Who to refer
Fluency disorders present in various forms. Some people will
have a more obvious overt stammer with evidence of
struggle behaviour and speech blocking. Struggle behaviour refers
to the person who stammers reacting physically or emotionally to
their moment of stammering; speech blocking is where the mouth is
positioned to say a word, but no sound comes out, and there is
visible tension. Other people who stammer may be appear to be
completely fluent with little or no evidence of struggle behaviour
or dysfluency in their speech. This is a covert/interiorised
stammer and is the result of high levels of word avoidance and
frequently high anxiety. Sometimes these people can experience
difficulty getting referred for therapy as their difficulty is not
obvious. Some people may have a mix of overt and covert
People may also begin to stammer later in life due to
neurological problems - neurogenic stammer, or sometimes
in association with anxiety - psychogenic stammer.
In all cases the stammer itself is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many people who stammer report significant distress and frustration
with the negative impact the stammer has on their ability to lead a
How to respond to a patient who asks for a
How to respond to a patient who is stammering but not
We appreciate that this conversation may not be easy, but the
majority of our clients have told us they were pleased that their
GP broached the topic with them.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community